Investment in innovative business practices and new technologies to help become more sustainable and productive. Grants are not available for investments in standard agricultural or horticultural practices.

Who: Farmers / groups of farmers / horticultural producers / processing businesses

Grant limits: £5,000 – £100,000 although a higher grant may be awarded for projects that show exceptional value for money.  An exceptional project must show high direct economic outputs or have a strong fit with Oxfordshire LEADER local priorities. Maximum grant rate is 40% towards total project cost.

There are four main types of projects that could be supported:

  1. A project to improve overall performance and sustainability
  2. An investment to support animal health and welfare improvements
  3. The processing, marketing and/or development of agricultural products
  4. An investment in reservoirs and irrigation systems

Oxfordshire Local Action Group will be particularly interested in projects that:

  • encourage the growing, processing and marketing of quality local food to support the local economy and reduce our carbon footprint
  • encourage an increase in the percentage of farm income derived from the marketplace

Some of the projects we funded last time:

Rectory FarmThis project increased the efficiency of the farm by providing a new fit-for-purpose cold store for fruits and vegetables. Cold storage allows higher value crops to be grown; it allows the quality to be maintained so ensuring greater profit. Produce is sold on-farm and through local farm shops and other outlets.

Ashtrees FarmThis was a farm diversification project to produce apple juice and cider. Apples are collected from local orchards and gardens. Funding was used to erect a timber building to house the press, fermentation tanks and other equipment. The finished cider / juice is pasteurised and sold to pubs in the local area.

Step FarmThe Saunders family began producing food organically in 1982 at their 600 hectare mixed farm. They have a mixture of enterprises including dairy cows, beef and cereals. In 2009, they used LEADER funding to create a new fully-functional 30/60 milking parlour with associated dairy, office and machine space.

Previously there were limited slaughtering facilities in Oxfordshire, the nearest being over 3 hours away making it hard to make a profit and sell to local markets. The farm converted an existing building on their farm into a slaughter house for their birds and for other local poultry producers to sell onto local markets.

Useful links

 

Download information sheet on this priority (PDF, 287kb)